LIBR 230-01
Issues in Academic Libraries
Spring 2009 Greensheet

C. James Schmidt
Office: 420A Clark Hall
Phone: 408-924-2465
Fax: 408-924-2476
Office Hours: 11 a.m. - Noon: Tuesdays, Wednesdays

Course Links
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Textbooks and Readings | Course Requirements

Course Description

This course will investigate current issues that impact the functioning of the academic library. Topics covered will include issues related to social and political environments, clientele, services, collections, physical settings, financing and staffing, and future trends in the academic library sector.

Prerequisites: LIBR 200, LIBR 204

Course Objectives

To understand the organization, structure and economics of American Postsecondary Education; to discuss concepts and issues related to libraries in postsecondary institutions, aka academic libraries.  Each student will explore one concept/issue in depth.

LIBR 230 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  • recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  • use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users.

Course Requirements

Course Schedule
2:00 - 5:00PM in Clark Hall 304:

  • January 28
  • February 4
  • February 11
  • March 4
  • March 11
  • March 18
  • April 1
  • April 8
  • April 29
  • May 6

This is a graduate course. Graduate level work is presumed. This presumption extends to punctuality and to writing. Do not submit any written work you would not be willing to be publicly identified with. How you say what you does affect whether or not others understand what you mean.

Assignment % Final grade
Institutional Profile
Due 5 PM February 6
Critical Note (2)
Due 5 PM February 27 & March 14
Due May 6
Participation 20%

In addition to all the reading, there are four assignments plus class participation:

  • Assignment # 1
    Select an academic institution and post its name to the class reflector list (  No duplications.  Based on the data you can find, post to the class reflector list by no later than 5pm February 6 a profile of it including enrollment, broken down by level (UG, G), date of founding, current budget, size of enrollment, number of degree programs by level, finances, size of library in terms of collection, budget and staff.  No duplications allowed so make your choice fast.  Hint: Assume that the profile you develop will be used by one of your colleagues as part of his/her preparation for an interview for a position at that institution.
  • Assignment #2
    Select an article on one of the topics listed for March 4 and write a critical note of not more than 1000 words about it.  Post the citation/link for it and your critical note to the class reflector list by February 27, and be prepared to discuss it and the issues it raises in March 4 class.
  • Assignment #3
    Select an article on the March 19 topic.  Post a critical note of not more than 1000 words and a citation/link to the article to the class reflector list by 5pm March 14.
  • Assignment #4
    Term project
    • Your term project is for you to select. If you choose a paper, it should be no longer than 20 pages excluding notes and references. Consult with me NO LATER THAN FEBRUARY 28 re the topic you select.
      Do not feel limited to this list:
      • Faculty status for academic librarians: Why or why not?
      • Non-librarian professional in academic libraries: Members of the team or fish out of water?
      • Library instruction: Done when, how and by whom? What works and what doesn’t.
      • Cyberspace has everything, and its 7x24, so who needs academic library buildings?
      • If the academic library just had enough money? Will it, ever?
      • What about access to materials and services to those distance learners?
      • Preserving the digital; It’s more than raging fires. 
      • Who uses academic libraries anyway? How much?
      • Will the serials crisis, whatever that is, ever end?
      • Scholarly communication: Done how?
      • What about tomorrow’s scholars if today’s collections diminish?

Textbooks and Readings

Required Textbooks:

  • Budd, J. M. (2005). The changing academic library: Operations, culture, environments (ACRL publications in librarianship). ALA. Available through Amazon: 0838983189. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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